Dr Lena Fan: Vaginal rejuvenation in 2020 is a complete life changer. Here’s why.
|Dr. Lena Fan|
Many ladies share similar concerns relating to: how will my body change with age, especially after childbirth?
Childbirth, age and hormonal changes can alter a woman’s intimate areas. These changes can give rise to medical and aesthetic concerns that include:
- Increasing laxity of the vaginal canal
- Urine leakage due to stress urinary incontinence
- Loss of vaginal lubrication leading to dryness and discomfort
- Decreased sexual satisfaction
Vaginal rejuvenation refers to various treatments that aim to improve and restore the optimal structure of the vagina and surrounding tissues, most suited for women who have given birth or are approaching menopause. There are creams and injections that help with lubrication and improve the quality of intimate sensation, as well as pelvic floor therapy with electrical stimulation of pelvic muscles surrounding the vagina to build up muscle strength.
Apart from those treatments, there are energy-based devices available with a focus on tightening the vaginal canal and external genitalia. Surgical procedures such as vaginoplasty also correct severe laxity by repairing damaged vaginal muscles as well as removing extra tissue to tighten the vagina. Surgery promises drastic and longer-lasting results, but it involves a long recovery time and carries a higher risk of scarring and nerve damage.
As a female doctor, I understand there are significant psychological barriers when it comes to vaginal rejuvenation. Women who have given birth multiple times often delay considering a vaginal rejuvenation procedure or hesitate to broach the topic, accepting a reduced quality in sexual activity instead. Others presume that vaginal laxity, urine leakage or vaginal atrophy are unavoidable as age catches up, and nothing much can be done to improve it.
Vaginal laxity is an incredibly underreported problem, in part due to a degree of social stigma associated with a woman’s sexuality. It is historically not recognized as a “treatable condition”, with available clinical papers and research on the topic far and few between. However, recent studies (2) have shown that up to 48% of women surveyed suffer from a degree of vaginal laxity that negatively affects their sexual health and overall quality of life.
Ladies, this doesn’t need to be the case with Fotona Intimalase.
With Fotona Intimalase®, aesthetic doctors are equipped with an incision-free and non-ablative vaginal tightening laser treatment that is safe and effective. It is a modern solution for improving conditions like vaginal relaxation syndrome, mild to moderate stress urinary incontinence, and vaginal atrophy.
- Quick and comfortable procedure, lasting approximately 15 minutes
- Only topical anaesthesia required
- Minimal or no downtime
- Visible results after one treatment
How does it work?
Fotona IntimaLase treatments make use of mucosal SMOOTH®, a specialized ultra-long-pulsed 2940nm Er:YAG laser technology which delivers a set of non-ablative laser pulses specifically to the vaginal and urethral wall tissue using a dedicated G-runner handpiece. This is a one-of-a-kind technology in the world.
These pulses of laser energy exert a photothermal effect, creating a temperature increase within the area while keeping the mucosal surface intact without any ablation. Heating of the mucosal tissue causes collagen fibres to shorten and thicken, triggering both collagen remodelling as well as the growth of new collagen fibres. Improvements you can notice are a tightening of the vaginal canal and improved support of pelvic floor structures.
What sort of results can I expect?
One would imagine that months of expensive treatments will be necessary to improve vaginal laxity. Surprisingly, clinical studies on women suffering from vaginal relaxation syndrome who underwent a single treatment of Fotona Intimalase® came back with the following statistics (1):
95% reported an increase in sensation during sex
57% reported an improvement in the quality of orgasm
14% reported an increased frequency of orgasm
5% reported no discernible improvement
In the study, women who underwent 2-3 Fotona Smooth Intimalase® treatments reported improvements in their overall sexual gratification by the 3-month mark as seen below in the pie chart:
Immediate results are great – but what about long term effects?
It is tempting to gush over positive statistics 1 to 3 months post-treatment – but that is not our final objective. What we want is a safe and sustained outcome for ladies undergoing vaginal rejuvenation.
In 2016, a study was carried out where patients were interviewed at the 6, 12, 18, 24 and 36-month follow-ups post-treatment. (3) Most patients who had undergone the treatment reported that the results lasted for a period upwards of 16 months, with none experiencing any major adverse effects. More than 83% of the patients reported that they would be willing to repeat the therapy – it was concluded that only two treatments (with a maintenance session 8 months after) were needed in order to obtain a substantial improvement in vaginal laxity.
That’s amazing! – why only now?
There are other forms of non-invasive energy-based treatments used in vaginal rejuvenation, such as radiofrequency devices(e.g. ThermiVa, Viveve) and fractional ablative lasers (FemiLift). Only in recent years did the use of a non-ablative laser technology like Fotona Smooth gain traction and popularity for vaginal rejuvenation. Personally, I prefer to use non-ablative laser technology due to the following reasons:
Better side effect profile
- Compared to using ablative fractional lasers which are associated with post-treatment pain, swelling, and redness, Fotona Intimalase® treatment involves minimal or no downtime due to its non-ablative technology and precise energy delivery to tissues.
Multiple studies supporting its safety and efficacy
- Studies specific to the Fotona SMOOTH® technology for vaginal rejuvenation are published, boosting our confidence in its efficacy and safety (5).
Few treatment sessions required for effective results
- For long-lasting improvement of symptoms, a minimum of 2 treatments spaced 4 weeks apart is recommended, with a maintenance treatment 8 months later if needed. For greater longevity of results, an additional maintenance session 2 years later is recommended. This is superior to other non-ablative treatment options such as radiofrequency which delivers subtler results over several sessions.
I know this can help me – but it is a tough decision to make.
To ladies who have given birth, and to ladies approaching or have gone through menopause, I know it takes a lot to overcome the mental barrier of receiving laser treatment for private areas.
We understand that it’s not easy. A woman’s intimate parts are very much linked to their sense of femininity and self-esteem, thus making the decision to treat an extremely challenging one.
At Veritas Medical Aesthetics, Fotona Intimalase® treatments are usually carried out by myself as more patients are comfortable with a female doctor treating private areas, but our team comprises both male and female doctors. If you’re someone going through one of the struggles outlined above, I urge you to give this little known but highly effective treatment a try.
Do you have a question for me?
(1) Gaviria J, Lanz J. Patients’ assessment of sexual gratification improvement after IntimaLase® treatment. Laser Vaginal Tightening (LVT) – evaluation of a novel noninvasive laser treatment for vaginal relaxation syndrome. LA&HA Journal of Laser and Health Academy, 2012(1); 46-58.
(2) Midori Mitsuyuki, MD,1 Ula Štok, MSc,2,3 Irena Hreljac, PhD,4 Kikue Yoda, MS,5 and Zdenko Vižintin, Msc4,∗ Treating Vaginal Laxity Using Nonablative Er:YAG Laser: A Retrospective Case Series of Patients From 2.5 Years of Clinical Practice, Sex Med. 2020 Jun; 8(2): 265–273.
(3) Gaviria P, J.E. et al., 2016. Up to 3-year Follow-up of Patients with Vaginal Relaxation Syndrome Participating in Laser Vaginal Tightening. Journal of the Laser & Health Academy, 2016(1), pp.1–6.
(4) Pardo, J.I., Solà, V.R. & Morales, A.A., 2016. Treatment of female stress urinary incontinence with Erbium-YAG laser in non-ablative mode. European Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 204, pp.1–4
(5) Sejal A. Desai, MD,a,b George Kroumpouzos, MD, PhD,c,d,e and Neil Sadick, MDf,g,⁎ Vaginal rejuvenation: From scalpel to wands. Int J Womens Dermatol. 2019 Jun; 5(2): 79–84.